AMEND INDUSTRIAL HEMP PROGRAM.

View NCGA Bill Details2015-2016 Session
House Bill 992 (Public) Filed Wednesday, April 27, 2016
AN ACT TO MODIFY THE INDUSTRIAL HEMP RESEARCH PROGRAM BY CLARIFYING THE DEFINITION OF RESEARCH PURPOSES AND THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF LICENSEES, CREATING CIVIL AND CRIMINAL PENALTIES FOR VIOLATIONS OF THE INDUSTRIAL HEMP PROGRAM, AND GRANTING RULE‑MAKING AUTHORITY TO THE INDUSTRIAL HEMP COMMISSION.
Intro. by Brody, Dixon, Langdon, Steinburg.

Status: Ch. SL 2016-93 (House Action) (Jul 11 2016)

SOG comments (2):

Identical bill

Identical to S 771, filed on April 27, 2016.

Long title change

House committee substitute to the 1st edition changed the long title. Original long title was AN ACT TO CLARIFY THE DEFINITION OF ALLOWABLE RESEARCH PURPOSES FOR THE INDUSTRIAL HEMP PILOT PROGRAM, AS RECOMMENDED BY THE AGRICULTURE AND FORESTRY AWARENESS STUDY COMMISSION.

Bill History:

H 992/S.L. 2016-93

Bill Summaries:

  • Summary date: Jul 14 2016 - More information

    AN ACT TO MODIFY THE INDUSTRIAL HEMP RESEARCH PROGRAM BY CLARIFYING THE DEFINITION OF RESEARCH PURPOSES AND THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF LICENSEES, CREATING CIVIL AND CRIMINAL PENALTIES FOR VIOLATIONS OF THE INDUSTRIAL HEMP PROGRAM, AND GRANTING RULE‑MAKING AUTHORITY TO THE INDUSTRIAL HEMP COMMISSION. Enacted July 11, 2016. Section 5 is effective December 1, 2016. The remainder is effective July 11, 2016.


  • Summary date: Jun 14 2016 - More information

    House amendment makes the following changes to the 3rd edition.

    Deletes the proposed revisions to GS 106-568.53(2), as follows.

    Eliminates the provision establishing that, for the 2017 growing season, no licensee can be issued a license or licenses for demonstration plots greater than a combined 50 acres in size, and the total acreage of all licensed demonstration plots cannot exceed 2,500 acres. Eliminates the provision establishing that, for the 2018 growing season, no licensee can be issued a license or licenses for demonstration plots greater than a combined 100 acres in size, and the total acreage of all licensed demonstration plots cannot exceed 5,000 acres.

    Eliminates the provision establishing that, for the 2017 and 2018 growing seasons, the Commission cannot issue a license or licenses to allow any person to cultivate more than the applicable licensee acreage limit established by subsection (2). Eliminates the provision providing that, for purposes of subsection (2), the number of acres a person is licensed to cultivate includes acres held by a corporation in which the person holds a controlling interest.


  • Summary date: Jun 13 2016 - More information

    House amendments make the following changes to the 2nd edition.

    House amendment #1 amends GS 106-568.53(2), concerning the powers and duties of the North Carolina Industrial Hemp Commission, to establish limits on licenses issued and plot size, providing that in the 2017 growing season no license can be issued for demonstration plots greater than a combined 50 acres, with all licensed demonstration plots not to exceed 2,500 acres in size. Establishes for the 2018 growing season that licenses will only be issued for demonstration plots that are a combined 100 acres or less, with total allowable licensed demonstration plots not to exceed 5,000 acres in size. 

    Provides that the number of acres a person is allowed to have licensed to cultivate also includes any acres held by a corporation which the person has a controlling interest in. Also provides that there are no exemptions or exceptions to the applicable license acreage limit established by these provisions. 

    House amendment #2 amends proposed GS 106-568.57 by increasing the criminal penalties associated with violations. Increases the punishment for any person that manufactures, distributes, dispenses, delivers, purchases, aids, abets, attempts, or conspires to manufacture, distribute, dispense, deliver, purchase, or possesses with the intent to manufacture, distribute, dispense, deliver, or purchase marijuana on property used for industrial hemp production, or in a manner intended to disguise the marijuana due to its proximity to industrial hemp to a Class I felony  (was, Class 2 misdemeanor).  Further provides that any person that provides the Commission with false or misleading information in relation to a license application or renewal, inspection, or investigation authorized by the Article or any person that tampers with or adulterates an industrial hemp crop lawfully planted pursuant to the Article will be deemed guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor  (was, Class 2 misdemeanor). 


  • Summary date: Jun 9 2016 - More information

    House committee substitute makes the following changes to the 1st edition.

    Changes the long and short titles of the act.

    Amends GS 106-568.51, which defines terms as they are used in Article 50E of GS Chapter 106, Industrial Hemp, by adding two new defined terms. New subsection (7a) defines industrial hemp research program to mean the research program established pursuant to GS 106-568.53(1), as amended by the act. New subsection (7b) defines State land grant university to mean North Carolina State University and North Carolina A&T State University.

    Amends GS 106-568.52, subsection (a), establishing the North Carolina Industrial Hemp Commission (Commission), by increasing the number of Commission members from five to nine members. Increases the Commission members appointed by the Governor from one to two, and provides that those members are to, at the time of appointment, be full-time faculty members of a State land grant university (previously, of a State university) who regularly work in the field of agricultural science or research (previously, who regularly teach in the field of agricultural science). Increases the Commission members appointed by the Commissioner of Agriculture from one to two. Establishes two new Commission members that are to be appointed by the Commissioner of Agriculture, and provides that one is to be a professional agricultural consultant and the other is to be an agribusiness professional. Amends subsection (b), which sets out terms of Commission members, by adding that the term for a member designated by new subdivision (a)(6) of the statute (appointed by the Commissioner of Agriculture, who is a professional agricultural consultant) expire on June 30 of any year evenly divisible by four. Amends subsection (g) to increase the number of Commission members that constitutes a quorum for the transaction of business from three to five members.

    Amends GS 106-568.53, concerning the powers and duties of the Commission, as follows.

    Amends subsection (1) to direct the Commission to establish an industrial hemp research program to grow or cultivate industrial hemp in the State, to be directly managed and coordinated by State land grant universities (currently, to establish an agricultural program to grow or cultivate industrial hemp in the State). Establishes that the Commission must pursue any permits or waivers from the United States Drug Enforcement Agency or any other federal agency necessary for the establishment of the industrial hemp research program (currently, industrial hemp cultivation pilot program) established by Article 50E. Establishes that the research program is to consist primarily of demonstration plots planted and cultivated in the State by selected growers, who are to be licensed pursuant to section (2) of the statute prior to growing any industrial hemp.

    Amends subsection (2) to provide that the Commission is to issue licenses allowing a person, firm, or corporation to cultivate industrial hemp for research purposes to the extent allowed by federal law, upon proper application as the Commission may specify, and in accordance with GS 106-568.53A, as enacted by this act to establish responsibilities of licensees. Deletes the revision of subsection (2) of the previous edition that established that research purposes include the growth, cultivation, and marketing of industrial hemp for purposes of Article 50E.

    Amends subsection (3) to direct the Department of Agriculture (Department)  to collect and manage all fees charges by the Commission and remit all funds collected under the statute to the Commission at least monthly. Also allows the Department to retain its actual expenses associated with the issuance of cultivation licenses from the amount to be remitted to the Commission.

    Deletes subsections (6) and (7) of the statute, which required the Commission to study and investigate marketplace opportunities for hemp products and best methods of industrial hemp cultivation suited for soil conservation and restoration. 

    Amends subsection (8) to provide that the Commission is to adopt rules (currently, directs the Commission to propose to the Board of Agriculture for adoption of reasonable rules and regulations) necessary to carry out the purposes of Article 50E, as specified in existing language. Makes conforming change.

    Enacts new subsection (10) to direct the Commission to notify the State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) and all local law enforcement agencies of the duration, size, and location of all industrial hemp demonstration plots authorized for the industrial hemp research program.

    Enacts new GS 106-568.53A to require the following of a person granted an industrial hemp license: (1) maintain records that demonstrate compliance with Article 50E and with all other State laws regulating the planting and cultivation of industrial hemp; (2) retain all industrial hemp production records for a minimum of three years; (3) allow industrial hemp crops, throughout sowing, growing, and harvesting, to be inspected by and at the direction of the Commission, the SBI, or the chief law enforcement officer of the unit or units of local government where the farm is located; and (4) maintain a current written agreement with a State land grant university that states that the grower is a participant in the industrial hemp research program managed by that institution.

    Enacts GS 106-568.55 to set out 11 permissible research activities in which a licensed grower may participate as part of the industrial hemp research program directly managed by a State land grant university. Permissible research activities include studying and investigating marketplace opportunities for hemp products to increase the job base in the State, studying and investigating best methods of industrial hemp cultivation suited to soil conservation and restoration, conducting seed research to identify seed types that are best suited to be grown in the State, and studying the use of industrial hemp in new energy technologies.

    Enacts new GS 106-568.56 to establish a civil penalty and authorizes the Commissioner to assess a civil penalty of no more than $2,500 per violation against any person who: (1) violates any provisions of Article 50E or a rule adopted by the Commission, or conditions of license, permit, or order issued by the Commission; (2) manufactures, distributes, dispenses, delivers, purchases, aids, abets, attempts, or conspires to manufacture, distribute, dispense, deliver, purchase, or possess with the intent to manufacture, distribute, dispense, deliver, or purchase marijuana on property used for industrial hemp production, or in a manner intended to disguise the marijuana due to its proximity to industrial hemp, which may be in addition to any other penalties provided by law; (3) provides the Commission with false or misleading information in relation to a license application or renewal, inspection, or investigation authorized by the Article; or (4) tampers with or adulterates an industrial hemp crop lawfully planted pursuant to the Article. Directs the Commissioner to remit the clear proceeds of civil penalties assessed pursuant to the statute to the Civil Penalty and Forfeiture Fund in accordance with GS 115C-457.2. Effective December 1, 2016, and applies to offenses committed on or after that date.

    Enacts new GS 106-568.57 to establish that any person that manufactures, distributes, dispenses, delivers, purchases, aids, abets, attempts or conspires to manufacture, distribute, dispense, deliver, purchase, or possesses with the intent to manufacture, distribute, dispense, deliver, or purchase marijuana on property used for industrial hemp production, or in a manner intended to disguise the marijuana due to its proximity to industrial hemp, will be deemed guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor. Provides that this penalty may be imposed in addition to any other penalties provided by law. Establishes that any person that provides the Commission with false or misleading information in relation to a license application or renewal, inspection, or investigation authorized by the Article will be deemed guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor. Establishes that any person that tampers with or adulterates an industrial hemp crop lawfully planted pursuant to the Article will be deemed guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor. Effective December 1, 2016, and applies to offenses committed on or after that date.

    Current SL 2015-299, Section 3, provides that the Board of Agriculture may adopt temporary rules to implement the provisions of the act and must adopt permanent rules as recommended by the Commission. Changes Section 3 to provide that the Commission may adopt temporary rules to implement the provision of the act, and that the temporary rules are to remain in effect until permanent rules that replace the temporary rules become effective. Makes conforming change to SL 2015-299, Section 4, and to GS 90-87(16).


  • Summary date: Apr 27 2016 - More information

    Amends GS 106-568.53, which establishes the power and duties of the North Carolina Industrial Hemp Commission (Commission) to clarify that the Commission may issue licenses to a person, firm, or corporation to cultivate industrial hemp under the industrial hemp cultivation pilot program for research purposes (was, commercial purposes) to the extent allowed by federal law.  Clarifies that research purposes include the growth, cultivation, and marketing of industrial hemp for purposes of Article 50E of GS Chapter 106 (Industrial Hemp).


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